Romney for US president in 2016? Iowa poll puts him on top

Americans may not be through with Mitt Romney after all.

The two-time Republican presidential candidate has repeatedly stressed over the past year that he is not interested in a third shot at the White House.

But an Iowa poll released Wednesday suggests that Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who lost to President Barack Obama in 2012, would be the party’s odds-on favorite if he threw his hat in the ring for 2016.

The survey of Iowa Republican voters conducted by Suffolk University and USA Today showed that if Romney was added to the pool of potential 2016 Republican contenders, 35 percent of respondents would place him first in the Iowa caucuses, the political contest that kicks off the primary calendar.

Arkansas ex-governor Mike Huckabee came in a distant second, at just nine percent, with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie trailing at 6.5 percent and former senator Rick Santorum at six percent.

Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul each earned five percent, while the remaining field was in the low single digits.

(Source: yahoonews)


Mapping Perspective

Via Al Jazeera:

Why do maps always show the north as up? For those who don’t just take it for granted, the common answer is that Europeans made the maps and they wanted to be on top. But there’s really no good reason for the north to claim top-notch cartographic real estate over any other bearing, as an examination of old maps from different places and periods can confirm…

…There is nothing inevitable or intrinsically correct — not in geographic, cartographic or even philosophical terms — about the north being represented as up, because up on a map is a human construction, not a natural one. Some of the very earliest Egyptian maps show the south as up, presumably equating the Nile’s northward flow with the force of gravity. And there was a long stretch in the medieval era when most European maps were drawn with the east on the top. If there was any doubt about this move’s religious significance, they eliminated it with their maps’ pious illustrations, whether of Adam and Eve or Christ enthroned. In the same period, Arab map makers often drew maps with the south facing up, possibly because this was how the Chinese did it.

Things changed with the age of exploration. Like the Renaissance, this era didn’t start in Northern Europe. It began in the Mediterranean, somewhere between Europe and the Arab world. In the 14th and 15th centuries, increasingly precise navigational maps of the Mediterranean Sea and its many ports called Portolan charts appeared. They were designed for use by mariners navigating the sea’s trade routes with the help of a recently adopted technology, the compass. These maps had no real up or down — pictures and words faced in all sorts of directions, generally pointing inward from the edge of the map — but they all included a compass rose with north clearly distinguished from the other directions.

Image: A perfectly good map. Select to embiggen.


WATCH: Massive #HurricaneMarie is generating big, high-flying swells for surfers at the Wedge, in Newport Beach, Calif:

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Adele Exarchopoulos


Data from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Branch shows that Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster for businesses

From ZeroHedge:

What the survey found was very disturbing: not only did businesses report that as a result of Obamacare the number of workers they employ is lower than higher (18.2% vs 3.0%), that there has been an increase in part time jobs (18.2% higher vs 1.5% lower), leading to a big increase in outsourcing and most importantly, Obamacare costs are being largely passed on to customers (28.8% reporting higher vs 0.0% lower), the punchline was that while there is basically no change in the number of employees covered (17.6% higher vs 14.7% lower and 67.6% unchanged), there has been a big jump in Premiums, Deductibles, Out-of-pocket maximums, and Copays, which has been “matched” by a far greater reduction in the range of medical coverage and the size of the network.

All of this to say that those of us that were warning that you can’t get something for nothing were right. You can’t overhaul an entire sector of the economy and not expect the added costs of compliance to not fall onto consumers in the form of higher costs or onto the insured in the form of higher premiums, higher copays, higher deductibles and less coverage. In other words, Obamacare is playing out exactly as critics said that it would and attempts to spin it as a positive are being, at best, disingenuous.


Physical and political history of Chile according to documents acquired in this republic for twelve years of residence there and published under the auspices of the supreme government on Flickr.

By Gay, Claudio, 1800-1873 
Publication info Paris, Home of the author, 1844-1871.
Contributing Library:
Research Library, The Getty Research Institute
BioDiv. Library

(via scientificillustration)

Another 1 bln added in July to unpaid taxes in Greece, which total almost 68 bln


The rate of rise in Greece’s remained virtually unchanged at 1.01 billion in July from 1.03 billion in June, according to data provided by the General Secretariat of Information Systems.

The July figure means that unpaid taxes remained above the 1-billion mark for the second consecutive month. It is the fourth monthly reading above this threshold so far in 2014. The highest monthly figure in the 7-month period was recorded in February at 1.39 billion.

The year to date figure of new unpaid tax obligations reached 7.24 billion euros. This means that new tax debt has been increasing by an average of 1.03 billion per month in 2014.


Super Nova Cassiopiea A

Cassiopeia A is a supernova remnant in the constellation Cassiopeia and the brightest extrasolar radio source in the sky at frequencies above 1 GHz. The supernova occurred approximately 11,000 light-years (3.4 kpc) away in the Milky Way. The expanding cloud of material left over from the supernova now appears approximately 10 light-years (3 pc) across from Earth’s perspective (within the Milky Way Galaxy). Despite its radio brilliance, however, it is extremely faint optically, and is only visible on long-exposure photographs.

It is believed that first light from the stellar explosion reached Earth approximately 300 years ago but there are no historical records of any sightings of the progenitor supernova, probably due to interstellar dust absorbing optical wavelength radiation before it reached Earth (although it is possible that it was recorded as a sixth magnitude star 3 Cassiopeiae by John Flamsteed on August 16, 1680). Possible explanations lean toward the idea that the source star was unusually massive and had previously ejected much of its outer layers. These outer layers would have cloaked the star and reabsorbed much of the light released as the inner star collapsed.

Credit: NASA

(via gravitationalbeauty)


Man in the electric chair at Ohio State Penitentiary, 1901 - Ohio, the second state to adopt electrocution, was proud of its humane choice of execution and issued souvenir cards of the procedure. In this image, a condemned man is strapped into the chair with the executioner standing at the switches, ready to pull the levers. With the passage of time and some mishaps, each execution technique was advanced, as minor flaws were corrected. Some very early executions had the hands of the condemned in a bucket of water. In its final form, the person is usually shaved and strapped to the chair with belts across his chest, groin, legs, head, and arms (some prisons place a strap over the mouth and nose and use a blindfold); a metal skullcap-shaped electrode is attached to the scalp and forehead over a sponge moistened with saline; and an additional electrode is moistened with conductive jelly and attached to a portion of the prisoner’s leg that has been shaved to reduce resistance to electricity. This creates a closed circuit. After the condemned is prepared, the warden may again read the death sentence, then he signals the executioner to pull a lever, sending a 15 to 30 second jolt between 1,000 and 2,000 volts into the condemned. The current surges and is then turned off, at which time the body relaxes and the doctors check to see if the inmate’s heart is still beating; intermittent jolts of electricity are given until the heart stops. The problem most viewers have found with electrocution isthe tremendous effect visual on the body: the prisoner is often fried in the process. At the end of the procedure, the body temperature can reach over 140 degrees. The audience reacts poorly to blistering skin and bursting, boiling blood vessels. United States Supreme Court Justice William Brennan offered the following description of an execution by the electric chair:

“… the prisoner’s eyeballs sometimes pop out and rest on [his] cheeks. The prisoner often defecates, urinates, and vomits blood and drool. The body turns bright red as its temperature rises, and the prisoner’s flesh swells and his skin stretches to the point of breaking. Sometimes the prisoner catches fire… Witnesses hear a loud and sustained sound like bacon frying, and the sickly sweet smell of burning flesh permeates the chamber.”

(via scienceyoucanlove)

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